“We are a nation of talkatives.” This is how Randy Abbey, Host of Good Morning Ghana, a magazine programme on Metro TV, describes state authorities’ reaction to recurrent national issues, one of them the increasing spate of road carnage
It may seem that his description is informed by the many times he has had to moderate discussions on the perennial staggering figures of road accidents.
It is also likely that even though Randy Abbey, a former spokesperson of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), has himself taken an active part in the discussions of national problems, persons mandated to take action and solve the problems fail to follow through with their mandate.
Commenting on Friday’s accidents in the Bono East Region and Central Region that killed 90 persons on Joy FM/Multi TV’s current affairs programme, Newsfile on Saturday, he said he found it interesting that he has to speak on road accidents again.
“I remember we’ve had to deal with this issue on this programme one of the few times that I have been here and it is just to tell you how we are a nation of talkatives,” he said.
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He said in reading around some of these issues for Newsfile , he found that “just last year, there were three separate accidents in the Northern region on a Saturday and a Sunday which led to the loss of 29 lives.
"I think this was around April. And at that time from the 1st of January to 31st of March, 2018, we’ve had as many as 592 people dying…and we had over 300 people injured.”
Following these fatal incidents, he recalls, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo approved an action plan to deal with road accidents in the country.
“Following the upsurge in road accidents, President Akufo-Addo set up a three-man committee comprising the Minister of Interior, Transport and Roads to develop a plan to help curb the menace.
"After receiving and reviewing the committee report he has granted executive approval for its immediate implementation,” he read out from a news report from last year.
A statement from the Information Ministry subsequently stated that the three-man committee made recommendations for action in three key areas: Education, Enforcement and Engineering.
For Education, the statement said government will resource the National Road Safety Commission to scale up public education and sensitisation on road safety with an additional ¢6.5 million from the Road Fund.
“The question we have to ask is: has this been done?” Randy Abbey asked.
On Enforcement, the statement from the Information Ministry said the action plan will be the “Enforcement of road traffic laws by the police through spot fines by automation of MTTD operations.”
Again Mr Abbey asks, “has this been done?”
“Partner with private towing companies and Nationwide Traffic Management and Enforcement Limited (NTMEL) to vigorously enforce the regulation. Has this been done? It is a year on,” he asks again.
On Engineering: the government said it will “resource the Ghana Highway Authority, Department of Urban Roads and Department of Feeder Roads with at least ¢335 million a year to provide signage and road markings for roads over a three year period.”
“Has this been done?” Mr Randy wanted to know.
“So this is an action plan, approved by the President announced on 16 of April 2018. We are here, a year on, and we are discussing 90 people dying on a weekend. We love to talk!” the Good Morning Ghana host reiterated his earlier observation.
Watch the video below for the takes of Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, Editor-in-Chief of New Crusading Guide newspaper; Kofi Abotsi, past Dean of GIMPA Law School and Partner at Axis Legal; and Kofi Bentil Senior Vice President of IMANI-Africa, on the issue of road accidents in Ghana.